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Cougar Volleyball Returns to NCAA Championship Tourney
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 11/30/2009
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Nov. 30, 2009

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Nebraska University Coliseum, Lincoln, Nebraska
Seats 4,030 - 133 consecutive sellouts

First Round, December 4 4:30 p.m. CT Washington State (18-12) vs. No. 20 Northern Iowa (30-2) 7 p.m. CT No. 7 Nebraska (23-6) vs. Coastal Carolina (20-13)

Second Round, December 5 5 p.m. CT Winners of first round matches Second round winner advances to Omaha Regional (Dec. 11-12)

Tickets available through or call 1-800-Go COUGS through 2 p.m. Dec. 1

The Washington State volleyball team is making its 10th appearance in the NCAA DI Women's Volleyball Championship Tournament...Cougars' NCAA record is 9-9...2009 is first appearance under second-year WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo...first WSU bid since 2002...WSU is one of eight Pacific-10 Conference teams playing in the tournament - Stanford, Washington, UCLA, California, USC, Oregon, Arizona and Washington State...the Big 12 and the Big 10 Conferences each have six teams playing in the 2009 tournament.

PALILEO NAMED PAC-10 VOLLEYBALL COACH OF THE YEAR: Andrew Palileo was named the conference coach of the year after guiding the Cougars to their first winning season since 2002, and garnering six league wins, the most since 2002...inherited a program that hadn't won more than three conference matches in a year for four consecutive seasons...mentored the Cougars to an 18-12 overall record and into the 2009 NCAA Championship Tournament...only one of the 12 losses came to a team not ranked in the top 18 nationally.

PAC-10 HONORS FOUR COUGAR PLAYERS: Seniors Renee Bordelon (setter, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) and Cassie Robbins (middle blocker, Yakima, Wash.) were named to the All-Pac-10 honorable mention team...Oceana Bush (libero, Spokane, Wash.) was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman first team and Rachel Todorovich (right side hitter, Walla Walla, Wash.) was named to the freshman honorable mention team.

COUGAR COACHING STAFF: Head Coach Andrew Palileo is in his second season at WSU after a highly successful tenure at South Dakota State...Palileo has a 28-31 overall record at WSU, and a 13-year career record of 267-172...associate head coach Brian Lamppa and assistant coach TeAna Tramel, both in their second years at WSU...Kara Kiefer is the coordinator of operations.

TUNE IN FOR COUGAR VOLLEYBALL ON RADIO: Cougar volleyball fans can listen to all the NCAA contests LIVE in the Palouse on KQQQ-AM radio (1150 on the AM dial) and in Spokane on 700-AM ESPN The Ticket...veteran area broadcaster Steve Grubbs is the voice of Cougar volleyball for the fifth season...these NCAA matches are also available for listening on the internet by purchasing a subscription through the Cougars All-Access button on the website.

• First time WSU has played in the NCAA Tournament since the 2002 Elite Eight season
• In 2002, the Cindy Fredrick-coached WSU team defeated Northern Iowa 3-0 in the NCAA East Regional semi-final match in Gainesville, Florida
• Coincidently, Fredrick's son, Ali Farkohmanesh, is now a senior starting guard on the Northern Iowa basketball team
• Coach Palileo ended his highly successful seven-year coaching career at South Dakota State with the Jackrabbits' first trip to the NCAA Tournament, a 3-0 loss to Nebraska in Lincoln (Nov. 30, 2007)...Asst. Coach TeAna Tramel was also part of the SDSU staff then
• Coach Palileo is familiar with the Northern Iowa volleyball program from playing the Panthers in spring tournaments and twice during the regular season while at So. Dakota State
• WSU So. Annie Adams is from Minnesota and is familiar with several players in this part of the bracket from playing against them in club competition
• Cougar freshman Conley Kipp is not the only member of her family playing in the NCAA Tournament...older sister Kasey is on the UC Santa Barbara volleyball team (22-7) playing St. Mary's (22-4) at Stanford Dec. 4

ABOUT THE NO. 20 NORTHERN IOWA PANTHERS (30-2): UNI is located in Cedar Falls, Iowa...Missouri Valley Conference champions (18-0)...15th NCAA appearance, fourth consecutive trip...NCAA record is 11-14...on 28-match win streak...5-8 So. setter Bre Payton (10.54 aps) MVC Player of Year...5-10 OH Amy Braun (2.61 kps, 3.00 dps) MVC Freshman of Year...other Panthers named to All-MVC first team 6-2 Sr. OH Shannon Aschoff (3.10 kps), 5-10 Jr. DS Ellie Blankenship (5.87 dps - 3rd-best in NCAA), 6-1 So. MB Michelle Burow (2.96 kps, .335)...6-2 Fr. MB Krista DeGeest named to all-frosh team (1.12 bps) a team, UNI's 14.90 kills per set is 4th-best in NCAA, and 13.68 assists per set is 9th-best in NCAA...Head Coach Bobbi Petersen (256-72/10 years) is a 1990 grad of UNI...named MVC Coach of Year for second time (2006)...SERIES RECORD: UNI leads 3-2 (WSU streak +2) for complete record see below.

Washington State Cougars Volleyball